This site runs on nostalgia. It's powered by the fumes of Candlestick, thick and cold, the thoughts of Barry Bonds pointing to the sky, and those things that happened in October over the last five years. Forgotten players are feted and departed players are remembered fondly. The thing about the past is that the best parts never change.
In other words: I get older, Brian Johnson's homer stays the same age. Yes, it does. Just like my movie references.
As such, you will not read a bad word about Cody Ross on this site. Aubrey Huff sure does have ... opinions ... in his new career as a media personality, but I'll always remember him tying the game against the Braves or going upper deck against Tommy Hunter. Heck, even Aaron Rowand had his charms, what with his dingle-dongle dingling with the bat when he came up and his fence-munching spirit.
Which is all a way to bring up Juan Uribe. On Thursday night, he came up for the first time as a member of the Atlanta Braves. He was no longer a Dodger, see. He was free. The Braves have just freed the innocent spirit that this dark mask had kept imprisoned within the body of evil Lasorda.
And yet he was still booed. No, no, no, this will not do. The argument against booing Juan Uribe:
1. Y'all cheer for Jeff Kent now
He wasn't just a Dodger. He was a vocal Dodger, forever ripping the Giants in his thick Southern California drawl. He wanted away from the Bonds show and the Giants miscalculated just how valuable he would continued to be, and he eventually ended up on the Dodgers. It was gross. It was okay to boo him. It was probably required. You just had to be sad when you did it.
And then, lookie here, he's Jeff Kent, lifelong Giant. We've all made up!
I like that the award makes Ray Ratto looks like he's sitting backwards in an office chair, mostly. But there's Kent, in a Giants cap, entertaining the crowd with his folksy, down home, Cal Berkeley charm. And that's fine. We should cheer for him. He was an outstanding Giant, one of the all-time franchise greats.
If you could forgive him, though, you can forgive a postseason hero.
2. Juan Uribe was a postseason hero
For the Giants. He was a postseason hero for the Dodgers, too, but we'll get to that. For the Giants, he was one of the gifts from the baseball heavens that allowed the Giants to do the thing they were never never ever ever going to do in our lifetimes.
The best jazz hands! And you don't even need to dig through the postseason archives to remember the good times.
Do you remember that game? Benches cleared, there was a blown call, Eugenio Velez took Russell Martin out, and Juan Uribe hit a walk-off homer. Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young, and then the Giants won the World Series the next year, mm-hmm.
But that isn't my favorite regular-season Juan Uribe experience. No, this is probably my favorite regular-season game ever, the first time I really thought the Giants could win the World Series:
Don't get me wrong, I love the Brian Johnson homer, the Barry Bonds #500 game, the ... I mean, there are so many. But four homers to come back after being shut out for six innings, in the middle of a taut, intense divisional race, in the era before the Giants won anything, with the benefit of hindsight with how it all turned out? Yeah, that's the one.
3. Juan Uribe stole the Dodgers' money, and then extended their sadness
For two seasons, he was one of the very worst hitters in the major leagues. It was amazing. His combined OPS+ over two seasons was 54. If you don't know what that means, just know it's really, really bad. Think of your least favorite Giants hitter. It was worse than that. It was worse than Johnnie LeMaster's career OPS+. He stole the Dodgers' money, straight stole it.
Then he was good. And he could always field. But he started hitting for them, and that was a drag. In the 2013 NLDS, he hit an eighth-inning homer that sent the Dodgers to the NLCS. For that, Dodger fans know how to appreciate him.
Except, wait, what did that homer really set up? Sadness in the NLCS. Again. So now when Dodgers fans think of Uribe, they think, "That guy was awesome! He won that postseason series for the Dodgers! Then they lost. Too bad they couldn't win after he did good things. Like the Giants did. And continue to do. Guess I'll go put habanero sauce in my eye now."
Heck, after 2014, I can appreciate that hit. You know why? Because it was Juan Uribe! And then the Dodgers were extra sad!
4. Juan Uribe seems like a lot of fun and his uncle was Jose Uribe
Both of those seem important.
So stop booing Juan Uribe, you weirdos. It made sense when he was on the Dodgers, having spurned the Giants for a similar amount of money, because, hey, don't spurn the Giants for the Dodgers, ever. He's gone though. He took their money, extended their sadness, went to a different team, and still gets to claim all the postseason heroics he always has.
Juan Uribe, good Giant. Be nice.